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View Full Version : New Old Uke Day: Kamaka Gold Label Soprano



Nicko
03-06-2013, 04:13 PM
Pleased as a pig in mud. Adopted a new old Kamaka Gold Label Soprano that arrived yesterday from the 1950s, just ahead of the snowpocalypse. Had a few cracks that needed stabilizing, along with a little cleaning up. Slapped some Worth BMs on it and got to take her out for a test drive this evening -- until I got weary of dealing with the settling stings. More tomorrow.

But it's a sweet sweet little number. Easy playing neck profile. I had no idea they were like this. This sweety, on top of the 30s Kumalae Style 2...I'm really liking these vintage Hawaiian ukes with the frets pressed directly into the neck -- ie no fret board added. I'm diggin' it.

4987549876

connor013
03-06-2013, 04:45 PM
She's a beauty. Congrats.

I have a vintage Kamaka en route as well. Can't wait.

Cheers.

mm stan
03-06-2013, 04:57 PM
Nice Score Nicko....it a 50's early model.....I like them dropped tuned man....more resonation and sweetness...do you have the flat neck behind the first fret? Happy Strummings...
I've got the same one...it's on my avatar...

Nicko
03-07-2013, 01:20 AM
Yes, I tune them down a half-step or a step. Does have a completely different resonance, of course...and sings a bit more easily for my voice.

Yes, flat neck profile behind the first fret.

Am going to try Aquilas on this uke, too. They sound great on my Kumalae, I think. I've not played the Worth browns before, so will stick with these for awhile and play them in and see what they're like. But I look forward to hearing this uke with the Aquilas, too. What do you use on yours, Stan?

Love this little puppy!


Nice Score Nicko....it a 50's early model.....I like them dropped tuned man....more resonation and sweetness...do you have the flat neck behind the first fret? Happy Strummings...
I've got the same one...it's on my avatar...

vanflynn
03-07-2013, 03:16 AM
Congrat on the beautiful new/old uke. Nothing sings like old koa.

If you are going to have Kamaka do the repairs, expect it to take 6-8 months. They may be slow but they do a super job.

Nicko
03-07-2013, 03:46 AM
Heretical iconoclast that I am, I did the repairs myself. Took a couple hours. To me it's a player, not a collectible.


Congrat on the beautiful new/old uke. Nothing sings like old koa.

If you are going to have Kamaka do the repairs, expect it to take 6-8 months. They may be slow but they do a super job.

wayfarer75
03-07-2013, 04:24 AM
Looks great!

kenikas
03-07-2013, 05:02 AM
Congrats Nicko! I have a Gold Label Pineapple of about the same vintage, and it's a wonderful instrument. Mine was pretty rough when I got it, serious cracks in the soundboard, and missing frets. Sent it to Kamaka and they did a marvelous job, and it only took about 3 months. I took me a while to bond with it, until I replaced the Kamaka strings with Worth Clears, what a difference!!
It sounds like we have similar taste in ukes, one of my other favorites is my '27 Kumalae style 0.

TheOnlyUkeThatMatters
03-07-2013, 06:16 AM
Congrats on a lovely find; enjoy!

Nicko
03-07-2013, 06:17 AM
Incidentally, as you can see on the photo of the uke's back, the previous owner inscribed his/her initials "GP" on the back of the headstock. The instrument was represented by the seller (an antique dealer) as coming "fresh from an old estate" (who ever knows whether this sort of claim is true or not or what it even means, for that matter). But on the presumption that the uke had one previous owner, I'm thinking of inscribing my initials on the back of the headstock, too. Then whomever ends up with this instrument next can do the same.




4987549876

mm stan
03-07-2013, 07:46 AM
Yes, I tune them down a half-step or a step. Does have a completely different resonance, of course...and sings a bit more easily for my voice.

Yes, flat neck profile behind the first fret.

Am going to try Aquilas on this uke, too. They sound great on my Kumalae, I think. I've not played the Worth browns before, so will stick with these for awhile and play them in and see what they're like. But I look forward to hearing this uke with the Aquilas, too. What do you use on yours, Stan?

Love this little puppy!
Aloha Nicko,
I slapped on some Martin M600 on mine...so sweet...yes I am in B or Bb tuning..depends..as I look for the sweet spot on the string tension and pitch...you've got a mid 50's one or little
above.. I do not prefer worth browns on mine...could be the harshness... yes I drop tune to my voice too...let me know how aquila work for you...I was thinking the tension would be
a little to high for mine...be careful....happy strummings and congrats..

mm stan
03-07-2013, 07:48 AM
Incidentally, as you can see on the photo of the uke's back, the previous owner inscribed his/her initials "GP" on the back of the headstock. The instrument was represented by the seller (an antique dealer) as coming "fresh from an old estate" (who ever knows whether this sort of claim is true or not or what it even means, for that matter). But on the presumption that the uke had one previous owner, I'm thinking of inscribing my initials on the back of the headstock, too. Then whomever ends up with this instrument next can do the same.
No NO don't inscribe your initials on that beautiful uke...it's mid fifties with the back attached to the heal...great score I changed my bridge to a more modern one...wish I kept original like yours
Oh mine is in mnt shape too, but it was a custom I think because it has the original oil finish..amazing looks like new...